GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Catherine Rice says her 8 yr. old son Jeremy used to be quiet and shy. But since practicing Martial Arts in the last year, he's become much more confident. She says, "I've seen a change, and huge change."
Rice says, "He was much more shy and lacked confidence."
Troy Miller, owner of High Desert Martial Arts, offers free workshops to show kids how to deal with bullies. He teaches them how to diffuse a bully's aggression with humor. If that doesn't work, Miller tells them it's okay to go get a teacher. Miller says, "The main goal is to de-escalate it so it doesn't turn violent."
During the workshop, kids also learn self-defense moves. Rice says she teaches her son that getting physical with a bully is only a last resort. She says she tells him, "you're only using this if you absolutely have to. I tell him, I'm like, you know what, if someone's hitting you it's okay for you to defend yourself."
Rice says Jeremy has come out of his shell in the last year. She says he comes home from his Martial Arts classes and teaches his little sister the self-defense moves he has learned, and she says that has put her mind at ease. She says she will enroll her daughter in Martial Arts as soon as the little girl is old enough.
If you'd like to enroll your kids in the verbal-judo anti-bullying workshop, contact High Desert Martial Arts at (970) 243-8010. The workshop is Friday, February 25th, from 6:30pm-8:00pm at 560 S. Westgate. The workshop is free, and appropriate for ages 5 and up. You can also find them on Facebook, by searching High Desert Martial Arts.